Exactly six months ago I announced my candidacy for state senate, excited to follow in the footsteps of one of my local role models, Senator Claire Ayer, and eager to join many of the women I’d helped train to run for office through my work at Emerge Vermont.
I was also deeply committed to extending my service to our community. After three terms on local school boards serving first Middlebury and later seven towns, I was ready to tackle policy issues on a broader level. I wanted to learn more, do more, serve more.
Over the past six months, I have knocked on well over 2,000 doors and attended dozens of events throughout each of the 26 towns in our district. I have done what many candidates do – marched in parades, gave a rousing speech at a Bernie rally, produced various ads, debated my opponents, written policy essays, and sent mail pieces to voters.
Beyond that, I have tried to run a campaign the way I would serve as your senator. I have thrown my full self into it and created a diverse coalition of supporters and collaborators. More than 300 individuals have contributed money to my campaign and hundreds have given their time, energy, and endorsements. Many of the most dedicated volunteers have been teenage girls and young women, excited to help elect a senator they know will include them in her work and vision.
I have emphasized the policy issues that matter most to Vermonters – access to healthcare, strong local schools, affordable childcare and housing, support for seniors, protecting our environment, paths to higher education and training, inclusive democracy, and equitable, welcoming communities. I have also learned about issues beyond my area of expertise, including agriculture, criminal justice, clean water, economic development, and opioid use.
I have talked with people at their homes and heard their stories of struggle, joy, loss, and accomplishment. I have met so many incredible people and have been honored and humbled that they have shared so much with me.
On Tuesday, the voters of Addison County, Buels Gore, and Huntington will choose who they want to be their two state senators for the next term. Throughout my campaign, I have tried to demonstrate to voters who I am as a person and a public servant and why they should elect me as their senator. I have worked hard, learned a lot, listened actively, included everyone, and strived to be the best candidate in the field.
I am Ruth Hardy and I want to represent you, the people, of our district. I ask for your vote. Thank you.